Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft started with a bang on Thursday, April 26 with the Cleveland Browns running to the podium to select Heisman Trophy-winner Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick. The first round finished in similar fashion when another AFC North team, the Baltimore Ravens, traded to No. 32 to take Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson to close out the day.
It was a wild night full of trades and surprises, and we still have six rounds of excitement left as the draft continues throughout the next 48 hours.
On Friday night, the draft resumes with Rounds 2 and 3 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas as teams across the league look to strengthen their draft classes and find the next potential NFL star. While the players remaining didn’t hear their names called in the opening round, there is still plenty of talent remaining on the board at premium positions.
Who are the best players remaining as we prepare for Rounds 2 and 3? Let’s take a look.
10. Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Gesicki is the kind of tight end who can line up in the slot and create a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. As the top tight end remaining on the board, his eventual landing spot will come down to what type of offensive player teams are looking for.
If you want a tight end who can stay in and block, Gesicki is not your pick as he has a long way to go in the blocking game. But if you want a big-bodied redzone threat who can stretch the field down the seam, the former Nittany Lion is exactly the type of addition you will be looking for.
9. Connor Williams, OG, Texas
This year’s draft class lacked any top-tier offensive tackle prospects, but there is plenty of value early in Round 2 if you are looking to protect your quarterback. Williams is a quick offensive tackle who excels as a pass blocker, but he does need to strengthen up to become more of a factor in the run blocking game.
But if you’re a team running a zone-blocking scheme that needs a fast-footed tackle to get in front of the play, keep your eye on Williams when Day 2 kicks off.
8. James Daniels, C, Iowa
There were multiple centers taken in the first round on Thursday night, with Frank Ragnow of Arkansas heading to the Detroit Lions and Ohio State’s Billy Price landing with the Cincinnati Bengals in back-to-back picks. Surprisingly, Daniels, who is considered the best of the bunch by many did not hear his name called.
That sets a lucky team up for an early steal in Round 2.
Daniels is an incredibly strong and physical blocker who likes to bully defensive linemen. If you’re looking for a strong run blocker who can use his hands and played in an NFL style proram, look no further than the former Hawkeyes standout.
7. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Chubb’s Georgia Bulldogs running mate Sony Michel heard his name called with the No. 31 overall pick on Thursday night and it shouldn’t be long until Chubb comes off the board on Friday night.
Chubb does have some injury concerns and is more of a one-dimensional back, but he is a strong, downhill runner that can bring a certain type of physicality to the running game. Add Chubb into an offense that also has a speedster in the backfield and you could have a formidable 1-2 punch moving forward.
6. Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Just two wide receivers were selected in Round 1, with D.J. Moore of Maryland heading to the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons scooping up Alabama wideout Calvin Ridley. That speaks to the depth of the position and team’s confidence that they can find a premium pass catcher on Day 2. Kirk is expected to be one of those guys who is taken early.
It didn’t take long for Kirk to make his impact felt at Texas A&M, immediately becoming one of the team’s top players and their best receiver. Along with being a threat on the outside and his ability to run solid routes, Kirk brings an added dynamic on special teams as a high-level return man.
5. Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College
Landry was considered a borderline first-round selection but ultimately was not one of the first 32 players to come off the board in this year’s draft. However, as the best pass rusher left on the board, it shouldn’t be long until the former Boston College star learns where he will be beginning his professional career.
Landry was once considered as a potential top 15 pick, but an underwhelming senior campaign led to a drop in his stock. Landry is a well-rounded pass rusher and is not afraid to lay the wood on whoever has the ball in their hands. Landry could make an immediate impact as a situational pass rusher for any team.
4. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Like Kirk, Sutton was hurt by the lack of wide receivers to come off the board in the opening round. Sutton adds a dynamic threat in the redzone thanks to his 6-foot-4 frame which he uses every inch of. Sutton uses his body well to box out defenders and has a history of rising above opposing defensive backs to come down with some impressive one-handed grabs.
While he may not be the fastest wide receiver, Sutton can be a guy who consistently moves the chains for a first down and helps your offense light up the scoreboard.
3.Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
With so many offensive guards flying off the board in Round 1, it was a surprise that UTEP’s Will Hernandez is still on the board. Hernandez was a potential top 20 pick and is the type of offensive lineman who brings a nasty attitude to the trenches.
Hernandez can hold his own in pass protection with a strong base, but he truly excels when he gets to unleash his strength as a run blocker. Hernandez is not afraid to run through any oncoming defender and is the type of blocker who will play all the way through the whistle.
2. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
If there is a running back-needy team hoping to add to their backfield early in Round 2, LSU’s Guice is the man to target. There has been talk of concern about his personality and potential off-field issues, but his talent speaks for itself.
Guice has experience in the top conference in college football and has had no problem carrying the load for the Tigers offense. When he burst onto the scene in 2016 as an injury replacement for current Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, it was clear that Guice was destined for stardom. With his good vision and downhill style, Guice has every bit of talent to become a feature back in the pros.
1. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Once considered the top cornerback prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft, Jackson should be one of the first few players to come off the board when the draft resumes on Friday night. As a player who played in Kirk Ferentz’s program, Jackson should be ready to play from Day 1 and knows how to fit in a well-structured system.
A knock on Jackson is his speed, but he makes up for that with his insticts, touhness and ability to make big plays in zone coverage. If Jackson has an opportunity to get his hands on the ball, he often comes down with an interception thanks to his impressive hands for a defensive back.
Jackson has all of the makings of a No. 1 cornerback.